OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — A security ministry spokesman says assailants have shot dead the prefect of Oursi in Burkina Faso's Sahel region.

Jean Paul Badoum told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Patrice Kabore's home was burned and the suspected extremists laid the prefect's body out front. Oursi is in Ouadalan province in the north near the Mali border, where attacks by extremist groups have increased in the past year.

The prefect is the first government representative to be killed since extremists began pushing more aggressively into Burkina Faso's Sahel and western regions in the past year.

Another security official says the prefect had been threatened by extremists several times before Monday night's attack. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press.